Philippines: House panel approves medical marijuana

Advocates of medical marijuana are in high spirits after the health committee of the House of Representatives endorsed a bill allowing the use of cannabis to treat chronic or debilitating health conditions.

The House panel on Monday unanimously approved the committee draft report on the proposed Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act following extensive consultations with patients, advocacy groups, health-care practitioners and experts in the regulation of controlled substances, according to Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III, the principal author of the measure.

“I feel high. There is high morale because finally the bill will reach plenary,” Albano told the Inquirer.

Under parliamentary procedures, the bill would be put through debate and presented to the entire 293-member House for approval in a plenary session.

President Rodrigo Duterte, despite his tough campaign against illegal drugs, has expressed support for the medical use of marijuana.

“There are medicines being developed, or are now in...

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